Dear Forum members,
I just finished my GMAT test. I want to thank GMAT club and it's members for providing wealth of knowledge. Following is my debrief
Background - I work as IT Manager and have about 11 years of work ex (yes i am old ). Nevertheless, I want to get into B school to do an executive MBA. I am in Canada (have an Indian origin).
I started preparing around Nov last year.it was passive for first two months and I just focused on completing Manhattan books
and some OG. I took GMAT Prep 1 early Feb and got 610 (48Q and 28 V). I was shocked to see my verbal results and did not realize that my verbal abilities were so poor. My gmat exam was scheduled for April 14th so i had about 2+ months to work towards a better score.
I started with Kaplan Premier
and completed the book in about 2 weeks. Then i completed Big OG and the individual OG's (took 3-4 weeks). I realized i was poor in SC. My second attempt at GMAT Prep 1 was around early Mar and i scored 640 (48 Q and 31 V). I did not feel my scores were secure in either sections (Verbal for sure). Then I started doing GMAT club tests
(for both quant and verbal). Repeated practice in quant from GMAT club tests
, OG and other materials on this site helped me secure my quant section. Worst case quant was 48. Then i shifted my focus on to Verbal. No matter what I did, my score never crossed 34 (true till date). My CR and RC skills are not bad my any means but for some reason I used to (still i guess) pick the incorrect choice b/w the two on SC. I did 200 GMAT pre SC questions (thanks to Sid who has posted the GPOA excel). I almost memorized them (not helpful i guess). I did every question from OG and understood why it is wrong (not wrong etc). On my subsequent attempts on GMAT Prep 1 and 2 i got 680. My final GMAT Prep 2 (2 days ago) score was 680 (49 Q, 33 V).
I am not empowered to give tips to others for Verbal, but I will give my 2 cents on Quant. On GMAT club tests
i used to get about 10 incorrect (among 37 Q's). Great thing about gmat prep tests are that the DS questions prepare and force you to think about all possible values. I got about 3 DS questions on actual GMAT (today) that did not say what x and y are (integers, fractions, odd or even) but expressions were given. Confidence helped me to mark E (hopefully right). I felt Statistics was tested more than anything on today's test. Questions on range (given two sets with range values, what will be least range etc, Median based DS questions), I felt Geometry questions were tuff today. I just could not manage time well so had to guess on last 2 questions. I was expecting at least 49. The strategy that worked for me was to pick tuff questions during preparation and to do GMAT club tests
one after the other. They will prepare you to go a level above the actual test. Do respect every question as i got a simple question (# 25 or so) that wanted me to calculate X power a number minus Y power another number. I panicked and thought my test was doomed. Time permitting, please attempt Quant 700 - 800 questions complied as a pdf. The answers are in word documents. They cover GMAT prep questions and some of them are solid. I spent a lot of time on probability and I just got on DS questions which was more ratio based (Men / Women) than probability. Focus on Set theory and use the tabular method. It is simple and well explained in Manhattan. I got 3 questions (and I got them right as far as i know). Remember the formulas for # of elements in 3 sets (only 2, only 1 etc). I will dump more items on quant in my next post.
I felt disoriented from the minute I started Verbal test. I double checked first 10 questions (including a passage) and i felt they were not very difficult. I spent too much time on first passage (some history related) and was reading into the CR and eliminating answers one by one but then I suddenly realized that I had about 12 minutes for last 9 questions and I was still stuck on a passage for which i had spent significant time and I wanted to get my answers right. I had to do 2-3 guesses and managed to finish the test with 3 seconds left but net I had to guess about 3-5 questions. I ended up with 34. I was expecting around 37 which would have pushed my score to touch 700. As i said earlier, I focused on SC from possibly every source as it was my weakest area. I tried my best to memorize Idioms (and I am above average on idioms), but I just got 1 question that directly used an idiom. It took me 10 seconds to pick that anwers. If you get 3 of them and know idioms, guess you could (would? ) be lucky. I felt CR and RC questions on the exam were simple and straight forward with no jargons but it was not easy to pick the right one amongst the two tricky ones under racing clock.
The AWA essays were simple. Argument had clear flaws (easily identifiable) and Issue was straightforward providing opportunity to draw examples from day to day life.
To summarize, Quant can certainly be pushed to 49 by doing Manhattan + OG + Gmat club tests
repeatedly, identifying your weak areas and doing more practice. I wish I had the silver bullet for Verbal section as well. I am not elated with this score but I guess with other items in my arsenal (work ex and managerial experience), I should be able to land into a B school. I don’t have the time or strength to take another shot at it but I can certainly, with confidence, state that it is very much possible to get a 700+ on this exam for someone who has average abilities, but is willing to work hard and not give up.
A big thanks to GMAT club members, who have always been (right tense ?) available for guidance, tips and suggestions. My source of motivation amidst busy work schedule and family towards GMAT was this club. I used to get motivated by reading 700 posts. This forum is a great source of knowledge, inspiration and direction. A big kudos to the club members and good luck to all MBA aspirants (I hope the last sentence is parallel) !